Carpal tunnel is a problem with a perfect work station. Now let’s deal with everyone working from home, kitchen table, couch, coffee table… As your chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I have seen more of this complaint since we have been on lock down. This information can help you prevent the injury.
The forearm and digit energizer series is a great way to manage that fatigue and pain you are feeling creep into your hands and wrists from excessive typing, gripping, or handstand walking.
This series is challenging and can place your hands into a position that they may not be comfortable being in to start, so exercise restraint on your first time. If you find your hands, wrists, or fingers are tender in any of these stretches, try first to reduce the pressure applied, and then slowly and progressively increase that pressure over time until you gain a full range of motion. We encourage you to challenge yourself with the finger flexing and neuromuscular components shown as well. You will be surprised at how much dexterity you gain from just a few round of this series, and the fatigue you feel when you first begin is expected. However, in time, when your fingers are dancing across your keyboard pain free and you suddenly are able to shuffle a deck of cards like a riverboat gambler, you will understand why we call it the energizer series!
A couple things to remember:
Complete 5-10 good reps of all the exercises shown, and take the time to slow down the movement and get a good amount of time under tension for these small endurance muscles.
Spend more time, 60-90 seconds, in the stretching ranges that are especially difficult or hard to stretch.
Well we made it! Like most of you I am dragging a 2017 spare tire into 2018! Like most of you I will swear to anyone that will listen that I am done with this thing! If I look closely that spare tire is actually the 2010 model! Here are a few easy weight loss tips from your Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractor!
Make veggies the star of your meals
Time to load up on those vegetables. I’m talking at least one to two cups (a cup is the size of a tennis ball) at each meal, even breakfast. In addition to being low in calories, veggies are rich in nutrients and high in both fiber and water. By making them the main component of every meal, you’ll eat fewer calories without sacrificing nutrition, and you’ll still feel full.
For breakfast, scramble a few eggs in extra-virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, turmeric, and black pepper, with a handful or two of chopped veggies, like spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper; enjoy with a side of fresh fruit. At lunch, opt for a salad rather than a sandwich or wrap. And whip up dinners comprised of “noodles” or “rice” made from veggies (spiralized, chopped, or shredded) paired with a lean source of protein (like salmon, chicken breast, or lentils) and a healthy fat (such as avocado, nuts, or seeds).
Load up on liquids
If you start your day with coffee, go ahead make it the usual way (even if that includes some sweetener). But limit yourself to just one cup. Then switch to water, or an antioxidant-rich, unsweetened tea (iced or hot); and try to have four 16-ounce servings throughout the course of the day. If you’re craving a little flavor in your water or tea, add fresh mint, basil, ginger root, or a bit of mashed berries.
However, be sure to nix any other drinks that contain sweeteners (even zero-calorie versions) or bubbles. The former may stoke a sweet tooth, or wreak havoc on your appetite, while the latter can leave you bloated. Also take note: To ensure a good night’s sleep, stop drinking any caffeinated tea at least six hours before bed. And cut off all fluids, even water, fairly early in the evening to avoid late night trips to the bathroom.
Streamline your snacks
You should really only snack under two circumstances. The first is when you’re truly, physically hungry (and not just bored or procrastinating or in the habit of nibbling at a certain time of day). The second is when you need some nourishment to tie you over between meals. For example, if you have lunch at noon and dinner isn’t till 7 p.m., a healthy snack can keep your metabolism revved, and help stabilize your blood sugar, insulin, and energy levels to prevent overeating later on.
In lieu of processed foods, like chips or sweetened bars, commit to noshing on something more nutritious. Try a golf ball-sized portion of nuts or seeds along with a tennis ball-sized serving of fruit; or a cup of raw veggies (like sliced red bell pepper and cucumber) paired with hummus or roasted chickpeas.
Make dark chocolate your sweet treat
Over the next month, try this simple experiment that’s helped many of my clients in a major way: Build what I call a “dark chocolate escape” into your day. That means enjoying a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao) during “you time,” without any distractions. So no laptop, no TV, and no phone.
Research shows that a small, daily dark chocolate indulgence curbs cravings for both sweet and salty foods. This trick can help you resist temptation for other goodies. Having one square after lunch and one after dinner may be a smart way to break up your treat, and keep your sweet and/or salt tooth adequately satisfied.
Like it or not your winter excuses just ended. We all do it! In our heads we are like, man if it would just warm up I would be out there running, biking… Now before you get out there and get going your Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia Chiropractor has a few things for you to consider.
Before you start an exercise program, there are a few things your need to figure out:
What are your goals?
Lose weight… Increase cardio performance… But if you’re of a certain age or have certain cardiovascular risk factors, you may need to see your physician before beginning a program that involves vigorous (as opposed to moderate) aerobic activity.
Here’s how exercise intensities are typically defined:
Something you can do for about 60 minutes. Usually included in the 60 minutes is a slow gradual warm up leading to brisk pace.
Name says it all. Usually after 20 minutes of this type of exercises fatigue starts to set in. Heart rate and breathing significantly increased.
Are you planning to participate in vigorous activities and are a man over 45 or a woman over 55? You should receive a medical exam first. The same is true for individuals of any age with two or more coronary artery disease risk factors. If you’re unsure if this applies to you, check with your physician.
Now the standard questions you need to ask yourself:
A “yes” to any one of the following questions means you should talk with your doctor, by phone or in person, before you start an exercise program. Explain which questions you answered ‘’yes’’ to and the activities you are planning to pursue.
Have you been told that you have a heart condition and should only participate in physical activity recommended by a doctor?
Do you feel pain (or discomfort) in your chest when you do physical activity? When you are not participating in physical activity? While at rest, do you frequently experience fast, irregular heartbeats or very slow beats?
Do you ever become dizzy and lose your balance, or lose consciousness? Have you fallen more than twice in the past year (no matter what the reason
Do you have a bone or joint problem that could worsen as a result of physical activity? Do you have pain in your legs or buttocks when you walk?
Do you have any cuts or wounds on your feet that don’t seem to heal?
Have you experienced unexplained weight loss in the past six months?
Are you aware of any reason why you should not participate in physical activity?
If you answered “no” to all of these questions, and you passed the first round of questions, you can be reasonably sure that you can safely take part in at least a moderate-intensity physical-activity program.
But again, if you are a man over 45 or a woman over 55 and want to exercise more vigorously, you should check with your physician before getting started.
For most of us a round of golf looks like a leisurely walk in the woods! My biggest risk of injury most of the time is twisting my ankle stepping on a tree root. But there are also those times when I did all 10 things involved in a golf swing correctly and the ball goes perfect. Those are usually the ones when I notice a little twinge in my back. As your chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia area I am all too familiar with golf related injuries. Here are a few tips to help keep you on the links and off my table.
1.Warm-up before playing golf to prevent low back pain
Warming up sounds so simple but even I am guilty of jumping out of my car and in to the golf cart. Then stand on the first tee and twist to the right then back to the left, light a cigar and we are off. Worked so-so when I was younger not at all now that I am in my 40’s. A thorough warm-up before starting to golf—including stretching and easy swings—is critical for the muscles to get ready for the game.
First, start with stretching before beginning to play golf. Stretching should emphasize the shoulder, torso, and hip regions as well as the hamstring muscles.
The shoulder and torso may be stretched by holding a golf club behind the neck and shoulders and then rotating the torso.
The hips maybe stretched by pulling the knee to the chest.
The hamstrings maybe stretched by bending over and trying to touch the toes.
Next, gently swinging a golf club helps warm up the necessary muscle groups and prepares them for the torque (force) and torsion (twisting) that a golf swing produces. Time permitting, going to the driving range before a golf game is very helpful. Golf practice should begin with the smaller irons and progress up to the larger woods. This process allows the muscles to incrementally warm up.
Overall, muscles that have been stretched and gradually loaded are much less prone to being injured while playing golf and can take more stress before either being strained or sprained.
Practice swinging before playing golf to prevent low back pain
The objective of a golf swing is to develop significant clubhead speed, and to do this a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) is applied to the low back. Golfers should emphasize a smooth, rhythmic swing, as this produces less stress and less low back pain (such as minimizing muscular effort and disc and facet joint loading).
With a proper swing, the shoulder, pelvis (hip), and thoracolumbar segments (chest and lower spine) rotate to share the load of the swing. The shoulder and hip turn, along with the wrist snap, will produce more clubhead velocity than a stiff arm swing.
Good balance while golfing is achieved by slightly bending the knees and keeping the feet approximately shoulder-width apart. The spine should be straight, and the golfer should bend forward from the hips. Weight should be distributed evenly on the balls of the feet.
As most golfers will agree, while developing an easy, fluid swing may be desirable in terms of reducing stress to the low back and preventing low back pain, this is often easier said than done. To avoid a low back injury, beginners would be well advised to work with a golf pro when starting out, since most aspects of a golf swing are not natural or intuitive. Additionally, golf lessons may be useful for senior golfers who have decreased flexibility and strength.
Health and safety is all the craze now. Watch what you eat, drink, wear, clean with… It goes on and on. Salt is always on the list. I think this week we can eat it but a new study from France will come out next week saying that it will kill you the second it hits your tongue, so good luck. But enjoy it this week. One thing that is always important especially in my Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia Chiropractic office is a healthy back!
A healthy spine is an often overlooked and essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who suffer from back pain, particularly if it is long-term, are generally less healthy than those who do not. In fact, back pain costs are staggering not only financially, but also in terms of lost time from work and because of psychosocial problems that arise during the healing process associated with long-term back pain.
Unfortunately, approximately 80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point. People who are overweight or obese, and who smoke, lift heavy objects, or had a previous episode of back pain, are more likely to experience back pain.
Because so many people suffer from spine pain, it’s important for you to try to keep your spine as healthy as possible. Following simple posture, lifting, and healthy lifestyle guidelines can help you keep your back in good shape.
The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following spinal health tips:
When standing, keep one foot slightly in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent. This position helps to take the pressure off your low back.
Do not stand bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time. The muscles in your low back become deconditioned in this position, which may lead to pain.
At all times, avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially while lifting.
If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs, not your back or upper body, to push the item.
If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.
Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, with your head up and back straight.
Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).
Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back.
Reaching and Bending
When reaching for something above shoulder level, stand on a stool. Straining to reach such objects may not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but it can also bring on shoulder problems.
Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor or a table.
Instead, kneel down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up.
Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back.
When carrying objects, particularly if they are heavy, keep them as close to your body as possible.
Carrying two small objects—one in each hand—is often easier to handle than one large one.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
While the proverbial jury is still out, we suspect that extra weight puts undue strain on your spine. Keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back.
“Beer belly” is likely the worst culprit, as it puts unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your low back.
The most efficient and effective way to reduce weight is by eating a sensible diet and exercising regularly.
Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, particularly if you have a health condition.
Sleeping on your back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine. Other positions may be better.
Placing a pillow under your knees while lying on your back cuts the pressure on your spine roughly in half.
Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees may also reduce the pressure on your back.
Never sleep in a position that causes a portion of your spine to hurt. Most often, your body will tell you what position is best.
Smokers have more spine pain than nonsmokers, and they also heal more slowly when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around your spine.
While following these instructions is no guarantee that you’ll be free from back pain for your entire life, it can certainly reduce your risk of developing it. These simple steps will help you keep your spine in good shape, making you a healthier, happier person.
OK we are coming off a fairly mild winter but let’s be honest none of us did much even though we planned on it! Now the excuses are over and the yard work is still there. Even though my yard is the size of one of my treatment rooms it still has a ton of work. Your Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia Chiropractor would like to give you a few tips to avoid seeing me!
Just as playing football or golf can injure your body, the twisting, turning, bending, and reaching of mowing and raking can also cause injury if your body is not prepared. Like an athlete, if you leap into something without warming up or knowing how to do it, the chances of injury are greater.
What Can You Do?
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain yard work may cause.
Do stretching exercises, without bouncing, for a total of 10 to 15 minutes spread over the course of your work. Do knee-to-chest pulls, trunk rotations, and side bends with hands above your head and fingers locked. Take a short walk to stimulate circulation. When finished with the yard work, repeat the stretching exercises.
Stand as straight as possible, and keep your head up as you rake or mow.
When it’s still warm outside, avoid the heat. If you’re a morning person, get the work done before 10 a.m. Otherwise, do your chores after 6 p.m.
Wear supportive shoes. Good foot and arch support can stop some of the strain from affecting your back.
When raking, use a “scissors” stance: right foot forward and left foot back for a few minutes, then reverse, putting your left foot forward and right foot back.
Bend at the knees, not the waist, as you pick up piles of leaves or grass from the grass catcher. Make the piles small to decrease the possibility of back strain.
When mowing, use your whole bodyweight to push the mower, rather than just your arms and back.
If your mower has a pull cord, don’t twist at the waist or yank the cord. Instead, bend at the knees and pull in one smooth motion.
Drink lots of water, wear a hat, shoes and protective glasses. And, to avoid blisters, try wearing gloves. If your equipment is loud, wear hearing protection. If you have asthma or allergies, wear a mask.
Try ergonomic tools, too. They’re engineered to protect you when used properly.
If you do feel soreness or stiffness in your back, use ice to soothe the discomfort. If there’s no improvement in two or three days, see your local doctor of chiropractic.
A common complaint I see in my Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia area chiropractic office is work related back injuries. Oddly enough most of those complaints come from people who work in an office and sit for largest part of their day. I can remember doing construction when I was in school and wishing my boss would leave so I could sit down for a few minutes. It seems like I had it all wrong. But sitting doesn’t have to feel like a full contact sport. Here are a few tips from your Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia area chiropractor that may help you.
The first step in setting up an office chair is to establish the desired height of the individual’s desk or workstation. This decision is determined primarily by the type of work to be done and by the height of the person using the office chair. The height of the desk or workstation itself can vary greatly and will require different positioning of the office chair, or a different type of ergonomic chair altogether.
Once the workstation has been situated, then the user can adjust the office chair according to his or her physical proportions. Here are the most important guidelines – distilled into a quick checklist – to help make sure that the office chair and work area are as comfortable as possible and will cause the least amount of stress to the spine:
First, begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to your desk so that your upper arms are parallel to your spine. Rest your hands on your work surface (e.g. desktop, computer keyboard). If your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, adjust your office chair height either up or down.
Check that you can easily slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of the office chair. If it is too tight, you need to prop your feet up with an adjustable footrest. If you are unusually tall and there is more than a finger width between your thigh and the chair, you need to raise the desk or work surface so that you can raise the height of your office chair.
With your bottom pushed against the chair back, try to pass your clenched fist between the back of your calf and the front of your office chair. If you can’t do that easily, then the office chair is too deep. You will need to adjust the backrest forward, insert a low back support (such as a lumbar support cushion, a pillow or rolled up towel), or get a new office chair.
Low back support
Your bottom should be pressed against the back of your chair, and there should be a cushion that causes your lower back to arch slightly so that you don’t slump forward or slouch down in the chair as you tire over time. This low back support in the office chair is essential to minimize the load (strain) on your back. Never slump or slouch forward in the office chair, as that places extra stress on the structures in the low back, and in particular, on the lumbar discs.
Resting eye level
Close your eyes while sitting comfortably with your head facing forward. Slowly open your eyes. Your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen. If your computer screen is higher or lower than your gaze, you need to either raise or lower it to reduce strain on the upper spine.
Adjust the armrest of the office chair so that it just slightly lifts your arms at the shoulders. Use of an armrest on your office chair is important to take some of the strain off your upper spine and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair.
My Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia Chiropractic office treats patients with headaches on a daily basis. Headaches have become almost as common as any other back complaint. This should be no surprise based on the fast paced way we live. On top of that add in the computers and devises we use during the day and a headache seems almost unavoidable. Avoid the headache may be hard but there is something you can do about them.
If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.
Research shows that spinal manipulation – one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems. The remaining 95 percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease; the headache itself is the primary concern.
The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than in the past, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture (such as sitting in front of a computer). This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.
If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
Your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:
Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.
Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways beyond just treatment for low-back pain. They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.
As a chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I see patients for all sorts of reasons. Of course one of the main reasons people seek out a chiropractor is for back/neck pain. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.1
A few interesting facts about back pain:
Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.3
Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.4
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.
Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by DCs for the past century, spinal manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, spinal manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.
Spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain (decreasing the need for medication in some cases), rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.5
In fact, after an extensive study of all available care for low back problems, the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality) recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.6
A well respected review of the evidence in the Annals of Internal Medicine pointed to chiropractic care as one of the major nonpharmacologic therapies considered effective for acute and chronic low back pain.7
More recently, research has shown that there is strong evidence that spinal manipulation for back pain is just as effective as a combination of medical care and exercise, and moderate evidence that it is just as effective as prescription NSAIDS combined with exercise.8
A patient information article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013 also suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.9
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how the services of doctors of chiropractic may help you, review the results of recent research studies and contact a doctor of chiropractic in your area. Search ACA’s database of members to find a doctor of chiropractic near you.
Tips to Prevent Back Pain
Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
Warm up or stretch before exercising or physical activities, such as gardening.
Maintain proper posture.
Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.
Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.
Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.
In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD.
Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today 2003 Feb; 23(2):14-15.
Bigos S, Bowyer O, Braen G, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No.14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December, 1994.
Chou R, Hoyt Huffman LH. Nonpharmacologic therapies for acute and chronic low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Ann of Internal Med 2 Oct. 2007;147(7):492-504.
Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, et al. Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulation and mobilization. Spine. 2008;8(1)213-225.
Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2013; 309(16):1738.
With this cold snap we are having and people needing to be active I am seeing a lot of stiff necks in my Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia area Chiropractic office. The problem comes from the muscle being cold and the blood supply to it being decreased from the cold. Than you do some activity and the muscle isn’t ready for it. Leading to pulling of the muscle and the spasm to follow. The levator scapulae muscle is the most common one for those of you who want to google it!
The muscle runs from the top medial part of your shoulder blade up in to your neck. So the way to stretch it is to separate those two structures. You can do the stretch standing or sitting.
Lengthen the muscle by raising the elbow above the shoulder on the side to stretch.
In this position, first rest the elbow against a door jamb. This rotates the outside of shoulder blade up and the inside of it down, which lengthens the levator scapula muscle.
Second, turn the head away from the side that is stretching and bring the chin down, stretching the back of the neck .
Third, place the fingers of the other hand on the top of the head and gently pull the head forward increasing the stretch slightly.
Hold this for about 30 seconds to a minute.
If this helps great you got some relief before going to your chiropractor. If they didn’t call for an appointment because it won’t usually improve on its own.